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For Immediate Release: January 14, 2004
Contact: Chris Davis 916-654-4989


Key Report Recommends Approval of Turlock Power Plant Proposal

Sacramento - A California Energy Commission Siting Committee is recommending that the full Commission license the Turlock Irrigation District's proposed Walnut Energy Center. The recommendation from the Committee, comprised of two Energy Commissioners, was released today in the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision for the Walnut Energy Center.

The proposed decision can be found on the Energy Commission website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/turlock/documents

If approved, the Turlock Irrigation District is planning to build the 250-megawatt Walnut Energy Center on an 18-acre site near the intersection of West Main Street and Washington Road in the city of Turlock. The district hopes to begin construction on the natural gas-fired, combined-cycle facility in the first quarter of 2004. Following a 24-month construction schedule, the district plans to have the power plant on-line in commercial operation by May of 2006.

Water to cool the facility will be tertiary-treated wastewater supplied by the Turlock Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Turlock Irrigation District estimates the total capital cost of the project to be $160 million to $220 million. The district's goals for the project include improving energy reliability in Turlock and the Central Valley and providing local economic benefits. The power plant will help the district serve a growing electrical load from existing customers and meet the demands of a 200-mile service territory the district proposes to acquire from PG&E.

Today's Presiding Member's Proposed Decision is not the final decision on the Walnut Energy Center. The full Energy Commission will vote whether to license the project. The vote will follow a 30-day comment period, which ends on February 17, 2004.

Comments must be sent to:

Docket Unit
Walnut Energy Center
Docket # 02-AFC-4
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-9
Sacramento, CA 95814


The Walnut Energy Center Siting Committee, consisting of Energy Commissioner James D. Boyd as Presiding Member and Commissioner Arthur H. Rosenfeld, Ph.D. as Associate Member, will also hold a public conference to accept comments on the proposed decision.

The conference is scheduled for:


Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Beginning at 10 a.m.
California Energy Commission
Hearing Room A
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, California
Wheelchair Accessible

Public participation is an important part of the Energy Commission's power plant licensing process. For more information on how to submit comments and participate in the process, contact the Commission's Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, at (916) 654-4489, (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at:

pao@energy.state.ca.us
Media inquiries should be addressed to Chris Davis at (916) 654-4989.

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